The Naked Dog Bistro, our dog bakery and pet boutique, is located in one of Southern California’s tourist hot spots – the idyllic village of Laguna Beach. Through the years, we have welcomed many visitors from far away and quite a few travel with their pets. Over time, we’ve collected a fair bit of helpful advice for those who wish to travel with a furry companion.
Plan, Plan & Plan
Traveling with dogs can be much more complicated logistically than traveling with kids. After all, kids are allowed at most places and dogs often are restricted. Additionally, airlines sometimes restrict certain breeds and often have caps on how many animals can be booked on a flight.
If traveling by air, buy your tickets directly from the airline and inform them that you are traveling with a pet. Most airlines charge a hefty fee for bringing along Fido, so be expecting that. Be sure that you understand all of your airline’s rules and restrictions regarding air travel and study the airport maps so that you can locate pet relief areas.
Traveling by car can be easier, but you still will need to schedule regular bathroom stops. No matter how you travel, you will need to research hotels and restaurants that allow dogs as well as any dog-friendly excursions.
In Laguna Beach, we have a plethora of dog-friendly hotels and restaurants. We also have dog-friendly beaches and parks, as well as some fun excursions for you and your furry companion. You can even book a dog-human kayak or paddleboard trek, for a look at the coast from a unique perspective.
Trained service animals are welcome just about anywhere, but even if you are bringing along a service animal, it’s still smart to check about the animal policies. Of course, both service animals and companion dogs are always welcome at our dog boutique.
Dogs love routine, but on a vacation, it can be tricky to keep up with their normal activities. However, you can still try to feed them at the same times and possibly keep the same walk times. If you will be boarding your pet, a good long walk before boarding can help them relax and reduce the stress of boarding.
Create A Pet Travel Pack
If you are traveling by plane, pack a carry-on that includes your dog’s medicine, some treats and at least two days of food, as well as collapsible dishes to hold food and water. Before you travel, you also need to ensure that you will be able to find the specific type of dog food that you need at your destination.
Otherwise, it can be smart to pack all of their needed food in a carry-on. Dogs cannot easily adapt to a new food or new diet, so feeding their usual food is always the best option. We do make fresh dog food at our pet boutique, so if you are in the area and need human-grade, organic dog food, give us a call and we will set some aside for your dog.
When traveling by car, you have much more flexibility in terms of what you bring. In addition to food, treats and medications, it can be smart to bring your dog’s favorite pet bed as well as a favorite toy or two. While they may be in unfamiliar surroundings, their bed or favorite blanky or toy can provide them with some comfort.
Whether you travel by land, sea or air, you always will need to be able to provide them with water, so a water bottle and collapsible bowl are essentials. Of course, you also will want to pack plenty of doggie clean-up bags so that you can clean up after your dog everywhere you go.
Take A Picture Of Records
Carrying around your dog’s vaccination and medical records can be cumbersome, so some people simply snap a picture of their dog’s licensing paperwork, vaccination paperwork and other medical information. This way if a medical issue arises, you can provide a veterinarian with current information.
In some cases, if you plan to board your pet either overnight or at a doggie daycare, the staff will require proof of a rabies vaccine as well as vaccines for distemper, parvovirus and other common canine ailments. They also might want to see a negative giardia test. Be sure to contact any doggie daycare or kennel for reservations and to ask about their requirements and if paper copies are required or if you can email or text the documentation.
CBD Dog Treats & Calming Treats
It’s not uncommon for dogs to feel a bit nervous about travel, so some of our clients will give their furry friend a calming treat, such as a CBD dog treat or perhaps a regular treat dotted with a bit of CBD oil for dogs. This might take the edge off your dog’s anxiety and help them to relax.
At our pet boutique and bakery, we formulate our own brand of CBD for dogs, and this includes CBD dog treats as well as CBD oil. We have treats and oil for large breeds and small breeds, and you can purchase these in person or via our online store.
In some cases, for air travel, you also could contact your veterinarian and ask about any light sedatives that they could prescribe. This can be a good option for dogs that tend to become nervous on airplanes, although many dogs are fine with a few calming treats.
The safest option for car travel is to put your dog in a crate that is secured to the vehicle. This ensures that your dog cannot roam about the car and that the crate is secure in case of a collision.
Of course, we know a few dogs that simply won’t remain quiet or comfortable in a crate, so the second-best option would be to put a harness on your dog and purchase a doggie seatbelt for your pooch. Your dog can lay comfortably on a dog bed in the backseat and still see you but will be secure and unable to move about. This allows you to focus on driving. We do not recommend placing your dog in the front seat, as this can be dangerous if the airbag were to deploy.
If you need a dog harness, we have some stylish options at our pet boutique. We also have cool dog collars and matching dog leashes. With a handsome collar, harness and leash, your dog will be the most fashionable pooch everywhere they go.
Make Some Practice Runs
While you can’t practice an airplane flight, you can practice driving your dog around with a crate or seatbelt. The more you drive around with your dog, the more comfortable they will be with the idea of traveling, especially traveling while restrained.
It also can be a good idea to make these trips as pleasant as possible. So, take a drive to a park or trail or perhaps visit our pet boutique and bakery for a little treat. We bake an assortment of homemade dog treats every day in the Naked Dog Bistro kitchen and if your dog is presented with a tasty treat at the end of the drive, this definitely will give them a positive idea about travel in general.
If you will be traveling by plane, take some car trips with your dog tucked into their airline travel carrier. While it won’t be a true replica of a plane flight, it can help get them used to being in the carrier in a moving vehicle.
You also should try to increase enthusiasm for the travel carrier in general. Start by putting in some favorite treats or a favorite toy or chew. You also can line the carrier with one of your old t-shirts as this is nice and soft, but also has your scent, which can be very calming.
Visit Our Laguna Beach Pet Store
Laguna Beach is the perfect vacation destination, and if you are traveling with your furry friend, please stop into our pet boutique for a visit. If you are traveling without your dog, pop in anyway and pick up some fun dog gifts to bring home. Our pet store in Laguna Beach is located at 424 Forest Avenue, next to Lumberyard (one of our village’s many dog-friendly restaurants).